Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Work in Progress

It's true....
I am a blogging
"work in progress".

I know I have all the tools
I probably need
 to get the job done,
but there are
still a lot of kinks
I need to work out.

Maybe you can help me with a few
of the things
 that I need to adjust a bit
 and tweak a little. 

Here are the things I need some help with:

How do you keep up
with comments
for all of your blogroll friends?

My sidebar has
the "most recently updated" blogs
shown ...  so when I have time
to sit and visit and leave comments,
I start at the top of that list and work my way down
through each and every blog,
as far as I can get with my time.

 I end up visiting a nice random
mix of posts ..... but is there
a better way to do this?
Can someone tell me
what is the most efficient way
to visit and leave comments
for my dear friends?

Why do some of you have
blogger approval modes on?
It's a hassle and time-consuming when
when you try to leave a comment,
but am I going to be sorry if
I don't enable it on my comment box?
(Will I get a virus or toxic spam?)

When I "Sign In" to the Blogger box....
why can't I stay signed in?
If and when I do, then I am unable to
leave comments for my friends....
what's up with THAT?

UPDATE: Since posting this...
I have taken advice from several of you to 
download Google Chrome. I think you were right,
my Mozilla was running in conflict
with Blogger. This helped tremendously!
Thanks for the suggestion!
Two clicks and it was downloaded. Easy fix!

When someone new becomes a follower,
usually their little photo appears in the top
left hand corner
of the block of photos of my followers.
However, now and then
I find a follower whose photo
gets added somewhere random in the photo box.

Is there a notification place
where I find out
who my newest followers are?

that's all for now.
Thanks so much in advance
for your tips and advice you.
I cannot tell you
 how much I appreciate it.

to those of you super-bloggers
with oodles of faithful followers...
thank you for your comments.
You know who you are....
you amaze me that you find the time
to comment so often.
Not sure when you all sleep,
but I admire your diligence and your passion
for the blogging friendships
that you have and maintain!

And finally...
if you are following me and I have not
followed you back, please see issue #4!
Just let me know
and I will follow you
as soon as I get your note.

I know I may not say it enough
but I love you guys!



Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Alison, there are not enough hours in the day to leave a comment on every single blog that you follow everyday. I do stay signed in to blogger unless my computer has shut down for some reason.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Good questions, Alison, and you can only do so much. There are some comments that I directly respond to the commenter through my email if 1. they have an email that I can respond to in their comment 2. I'm very friendly with some people I've "known" for quite awhile and we go back and forth via email for a "visit" and 3. when someone just leaves me such a nice comment I have to thank them and let them know they made my day. Otherwise, I will visit my regularly followed blogs and leave comments and then I visit some who are new to my blog and just stopping by.

My comments are published after I approve them. So that's an option for you. I hate when I have to type in a word verification and it is rare I will go back to that blog.

Lou said...

Alison - Good questions and I will eagerly await all of the responses. I am a fairly new blogger myself, but have found every one elses blogs much more interesting so I'm having fun reading and seeing all the eye candy, however I have no idea how people have the time to read, make comments, blog regularly, take pictures, stage, etc. It takes me that long to think of something. I'm in awe.
Connie (aka LOU)

Debi@7Gates said...

Alison - I'm so sorry I can't help you. I am riding the "short bus" in blog land and just trying to keep my head above water. These professionals are killing me. They must have a system like the coupon people. I will check back with you to learn their "secrets".

The Starr Family said...

Unfortunately I don't have many answers, shame! However, I will say I that I downloaded Disqus for my comment forum (its free) and I love it. It allows me the option to reply directly to comments! Its easy to use and your commenters don't have to be Disqus users to comment either, they can just sign in as a 'guest.'

Cannot wait to see all the wonderful answers you receive, a little Q&A helps us all!

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

Well here's my 2 cents worth...first of all if you are having trouble staying signed in you might want to switch web browsers. Internet Explorer and Mozilla do not play nice with Blogger. Since Blogger belongs to Google your best bet is to download Google Chrome and use it all the time when posting or commenting. Mozilla flat out won't let me comment on any blog ever.
As far as keeping up with commenting, like Kim said there aren't enough hours in the day. I have my comments delivered to my email. I try to keep my unread emails under 50. Sometimes I get caught up and sometimes I don't. I try to return at least 5 comments every time I open my computer before I let myself blog hop. I got some great advice from Brenda at Cozy Little House. She said to shorten your blog roll to 25 or under. It isn't so overwhelming that way. I am amazed at how much it's helped me. We all have our favorites and friends. I know I have a few blogs that I never miss a post and always comment. But you can't do that with everyone. Bloggers say all the time that it's supposed to be fun. I must admit that sometimes it's not. But I think the real secret is to give yourself a break now and then. When you're on a roll and posting every day enjoy it. When you dry up and don't have any inspiration, back off. Your blog isn't going anywhere and either are your followers. Sorry for writing a book...hope some of this helped!

Judy said...

I agree with Kim, it's impossible to keep up with all comment on every blog every day. I usually comment to someone who is "new" to my blog and I go over and thank them, and I have a group of ladies that leave me comments on a fairly regular basis (and I thank you for yours!) that I correspond with either on their blog or via e-mail. I've been blogging almost 4 years now and it's a constant learning process. Do what's comfortable for you and you'll find what works but there are no hard and fast rules to follow (that I'm aware of).

I don't have a problem being signed into blogger, but there are some other issues I have with blogger.

I can't stand the word verification thing! I don't do that thing where I have to approve comments before they are published, luckily I've only had about 1 questionable comment in all the 4 years I've blogged!

And finally, I think you are doing a great job on your blog, you seem like a "pro" to me!


Michele Smith said...

I don't have as many followers as most, but I find certain time during the day and visit most I do find that I miss a few though. I'm having hard time with blogger right now to, not being signed in when I am...and what not.

Kathy said...

I am new to this and will keep checking back to see the answers you get..I love your post and your blog and you are so good about commenting on my blog you are so appreciated...

Vicki @ CurlyWillow said...

Wow, great advice so far. I agree with the comment thing, make it easy for folks to comment. The word verification is crazy. I use Google Reader to read my fav blogs. It shows me how many posts are new and I just click on the all items link and scroll right on down the page until they are all read, just like a book. When I click on the blog post link which takes me to the blog page when I want to make a comment. I'm surprised more folks don't use that. All the comments in our blog go to both Barb and I in our e-mail. That way, whoever wrote the post, can reply directly back to the commenter. It also allows both of us to keep posted on the comments. I think you're doing a great job. PS: LOVED YOUR PICS IN THIS POST. Very creative!!

Designs By Pinky said...

I am still trying to figure all this out too! I jst know that I had big problems and the solution seem,ed to be to NOT "stay signed in" with blogger, so I never click that button. I am amazed that YOU have problems and questions cause I consider you one of the PRO bloggers!!!! This is a good idea to ask these questions and get feedback. I try to visit evry person who leaves a comment on my blog and then visit my faves too. It takes ALOT of time, I know and some days I just can not get to everyone. The BEST thing about blogging to me is "meeting" all the wonderful people and making new friends! Like YOU!!!!! XO, Pinky

Sarah said...

Alison, you do a fabulous job of both posting and visiting and commenting. I'm amazed at how often you get a post up. I'm doing good if I can get one a week done.
I try to visit as many blogs as I can, both those on my sidebar and those participating in the same memes I join in on. I'm retired, so I can sit down at my computer off and on during the day. Some times I don't get to visit much because life just gets too busy, but I make a point to comment if I visit someone. It's the teacher in me. Positive feedback! ;-)
Keep up the good work. Your blog is one of my all time favorites. I wouldn't miss it! ~ Sarah

Beverly@southernhomesweethome said...

Sooo glad you asked those questions! I also cannot stay logged in to save me. I do have times when I have tried to post the same comment four times and just give up. I love your blog and love hearing from you... such an encouraging blogger.

Carolyn@SweetChaos said...

Alison... all you need to do is make sure you comment on mine and you'll be just fine. Just kidding! (Although I do appreciate all your sweet comments!)

I will say that switching to Google Chrome cleared up my inability to comment on blogs. That was very frustrating!

I'll await everyone else's answers, as I'm new and obviously not doing as good a job as you are with the whole blogging thing. I see that you follow everyone back, and I think that's a nice idea. I just don't know if I could possibly visit and comment and keep up with all of that. I can barely get a couple of posts done a week. Can't wait to read the advice you get, but I think you're doing a fabulous job :)

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

What great questions! It was so interesting to read what your sweet friends had to say.
Let me answer a couple too!

#2~ Most people who have word verification must not know how to turn it off, or at least that is what I think. Why would they every want to annoy so many people by keeping it on?

#3 I had that same problem when I was using Internet explorer. I finally switched to Google Chrome and I LOVE IT! So easy!Make the switch! You will be so much happier.

#1 Eveyone's life is different and so is the time and effort they are willing to put into commenting and visiting. It is amazing~ we think up blog ideas, spend time and money putting a post together, take pictures, write a post, edit it an publish it. AND we visit our blogging friends, comment on blogs, visit the blogs that comment on our blogs, visit new blogs, answer e-mails connected to our blogs... all this is done for free for the most part and done while living our lives.
I say, blogging should be a positive experience with few hard and fast do's and don'ts. BE KIND should be the only rule.
A very wise blogging friend once told me when I was lamenting about not being able to visit and comment on every blog..."Yvonne, your blog is your gift to us. Look how much energy you put in it for all to enjoy".
So I say to you, Alison... your blog is your gift and so are you!
xo Yvonne

Hartwood Roses said...

Alison, dear, there is no right way and wrong way to blog. This is YOUR blog, to do with as you please, and as it pleases you.

Here's what I do: I sit here early in the morning, usually with a cat in my lap and a cup of coffee within arms reach, visiting blogs one by one down my blogroll. It's how I keep up with the ones I actually READ. Sometimes I comment, sometimes I don't have anything to say, but I always read every one of my blogroll blogs.

I have word verification on my blog because it keeps out spam ... not toxic spam or viruses, just the folks who want to use your comments for advertising or to hear themselves talk. I tried going without it, and the Russian spammers had a field day filling my inbox with crap, so I turned it back on. If a visitor cannot be bothered to type six or eight characters into a little box, I don't mind that they don't leave a comment ... at least they visited and read what I had to say. Myself, I don't mind verifications.

The thing with signing in and staying signed in ... it's a bug in Blogger. I imagine it will be fixed one day. Until then, at least we have a work around and can visit and comment. A few months ago, this was not the case.

My biggest pet peeve is folks who do not publish their email address!!! It is so frustrating to get a comment or a question, especially from a first-time visitor, and to not be able to send them a reply or thank them for visiting. I don't reply to all comments ... probably 50%.

Remember, this is YOUR blog ... and you can do this however YOU want to. Be yourself!

Richard Cottrell said...

Ms. PH. Unless you do not have a life, like me, it is impossible to keep up with all the blogs, followers and comments. The one thing I do each day is go to the emails, email tells me when some one has commented. I go to that email and comment back. Also when i open my blog, I look to see if I have new followers, and if I do, I go and check them out, email or comment and thank them and in return follow them. I look at dashboard and look for my favorite bloggers, and if they have posted I go to them and read and comment. Once in awhile I find a new someone of interest off another bloggers comments. Just do the best you can and every one will understand as they are right behind you. By the way, this post was as clever as can be. Thanks, Richard from My Old Historic House.

Honey at 2805 said...

Re you comment about folowing: I like to follow everyone that follows me and it's difficult when they don't leave a comment that they are following. The pictures (maybe half?) don't have a link to their blog attached when you click onto them and without that comment they are impossible to find.

I'm with you on that verification thing.

I visit and comment as much as I possible can, but you can only do so much.

As Yvonne said, your blog is a gift to so all and a joy to read!

Anonymous said...

I had the same problem and downloaded Chrome. I only use it for blogger b/c I don't find it as user friendly as IE, but it worked!

Blogging is almost like a job. I have no idea how some people manage to do so much with it. Nor do I have any answers to your questions, but I'm still sorta new at this. :o)

As far as faithful commenting, I have a group of people that I read their blog daily as they do with mine. I visit those people first and then do a random assortment of others as I have time. That's the only thing that works for me!

Barbara Bussey {The Treasured Home} said...

I attended last year's Design Blogger's Conference, where they said their top blog software choice is wordpress. I host my own site and therefor I don't need to have blogger in my domain name. Wordpress is easy to use. You might want to check them out. I'm going to sign up for Google Reader!

Your blog is lovely, Alison. You're a master with the camera! Yes, it can really suck time out of your day! I still love it!


Gypsy Heart said...

Great post, photos and I feel the same! I want so much to read and respond to everyone but time just does not permit that. I guess if we stayed "plugged in" to Blogger it might but then our lives would suffer. I think the only thing is just do what you can, when you can.

You have some great responses here! I have downloaded Google Chrome but forget to use it at times. Can you tell I'm a creature of habit? :-)

The word verification thingy just drives me bonkers plus not having an email addy when I'd like to respond to the person. Those two things are the most frustrating to me.

There's no way that I can garden, cook, bake, build, paint, create, photograph and post daily. I'm not built that way! Bless those that are ~

Thanks for asking these questions! I will stop by later and see if there are more answers.


Gypsy Heart said...

Great post, photos and I feel the same! I want so much to read and respond to everyone but time just does not permit that. I guess if we stayed "plugged in" to Blogger it might but then our lives would suffer. I think the only thing is just do what you can, when you can.

You have some great responses here! I have downloaded Google Chrome but forget to use it at times. Can you tell I'm a creature of habit? :-)

The word verification thingy just drives me bonkers plus not having an email addy when I'd like to respond to the person. Those two things are the most frustrating to me.

There's no way that I can garden, cook, bake, build, paint, create, photograph and post daily. I'm not built that way! Bless those that are ~

Thanks for asking these questions! I will stop by later and see if there are more answers.


Alison @ The Polohouse said...

Thanks so much to all of you,
for your tips, and suggestions, and even your compliments!

I downloaded Google Chrome and that really made all the difference.( Thanks Ann and Carolyn!)

I still think there should be a spot for us to see who our new followers are, but I guess not.

Will check the latest blog updates on my dashboard... that sounds like it is everyone's favorite way to see and keep up with posts.

Thanks again for all your help!
I truly appreciate it!

Cottage and Broome said...

It was good reading everyone's tips, as a new blogger they were helpful. Laura

Cottage and Broome said...

Alison, thanks for stopping by. How wonderful you have been to Charlevoix, if you find your self back in this area please let me know. It would be nice to have coffee or in my case tea with a follower blogger. I hate to admit we have never been over to Beaver Island. Thanks again, Laura

refresh reStyle said...

I'm so far behind, I'm just reading this. I have the same questions and after reading have some answers. I wish all the blogger blogs had the option to sign in with Name/Url...sometimes I have to sign in with my old blogger profile, then people have to click around to find me. I too will come back to read more on here. I'm following you and don't know if you're following me.